Third Time Lucky: Exelixis' Cabozantinib Combo Therapy Aces Pivotal Study In Prostate Cancer Patients

Roche Holdings AG RHHBYExelixis Inc EXEL, and Ipsen IPSEY say Phase 3 CONTACT-02 pivotal trial evaluating Cabometyx (cabozantinib) in combination with Tecentriq (atezolizumab) has met one of the primary endpoints.

The study demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) at the primary analysis. 

CONTACT-02 is evaluating cabozantinib combined with atezolizumab compared with a second novel hormonal therapy in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and measurable soft tissue disease previously treated with one novel hormonal therapy.

Tecentriq plus Cabometyx failed two, namely CONTACT-01 in non-small cell lung cancer and CONTACT-03 in renal cell carcinoma.

In the CONTACT-03 study, Tecentriq plus Cabometyx failed to meet its primary endpoint of overall survival at the final analysis compared to chemotherapy

The CONTACT-01 study did not meet its primary endpoint of overall survival at the final analysis

The companies say they will present the results at a later medical meeting and discuss them with regulatory authorities.

William Blair analysts Andy Hsieh and Alexandra Ramsey say they cautiously approached the top-line results given the challenges associated with treating mCRPC and multiple setbacks involving checkpoint inhibitor combinations. 

However, the results have pleasantly exceeded our expectations and the broader market's expectations.

Assuming a treatment duration of 5 months, the estimated total U.S. market value is approximately $1.9 billion, based on a net monthly cost of $17,000. They say that unless there's a considerable and meaningful reduction in disease progression or mortality, the FDA will likely demand a statistically significant survival benefit before approving, with a hazard ratio between 0.50 and 0.60.

The analysts maintain the Outperform rating on the stock.

Price Action: EXEL shares are up 1.23% at $21.36 on the last check Monday.

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